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Mutat Res. 2003 May 9;537(1):53-65.

Bulky DNA adducts in human sperm: relationship with fertility, semen quality, smoking, and environmental factors.

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First Chair and Clinical Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Silesian Medical Academy, Bytom, Poland.


The integrity of DNA of spermatogenic cells can be affected by endogenous and exogenous genotoxic factors. Resulting DNA damage in spermatozoa may significantly contribute to impaired fertility. Here, the 32P-postlabeling method was used to analyze the levels of bulky DNA adducts in sperm cells in a group of 179 males, either healthy donors or patients with an impaired fertility. When all donors were analyzed, the levels of bulky DNA adducts was 1.2-fold higher in smokers than in non-smokers, but the difference was not statistically significant (P=0.054). However, a statistically significant difference existed between current smokers and never smokers among the healthy individuals (1.7-fold increase, P=0.008). No correlation between alcohol or coffee consumption and sperm DNA adducts was found. The levels of DNA adducts in sperm seemed to be unaffected by environmental and occupational factors. On the other hand, groups of healthy persons and patients with male-factor infertility differed significantly with respect to the level of bulky DNA adducts (P=0.012). A significant negative correlation between DNA adducts and sperm concentration or sperm motility existed among patients with an impaired fertility (n=93; P<0.029, r(S)=-0.225). These results suggest that DNA adducts in sperm cells can be applied as potential biomarkers in studies of human infertility.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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